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3 million tested for coronavirus in Chinese city

BEIJING — Authorities in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao say they have completed coronavirus tests on more than 3 million people following the country’s first reported local outbreak of the virus in nearly two months.

The city’s health department said Tuesday that no new positive cases had been found among the more than 1.1 million test results returned thus far. The city said it had a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend at a hospital.

The National Health Commission, however, said Tuesday that at least six new cases of the virus were found in Qingdao in the past 24 hours.


The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

The National Health Commission numbers released Tuesday reported a total of 30 new virus cases in the previous 24 hours nationwide. It broke down those numbers into 13 cases in which people had symptoms and 17 cases in which they had no symptoms. The total number of locally transmitted cases, both with and without symptoms, was 11, while the rest were listed as imported.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Takeaways: Coronavirus at center of Supreme Cour t hearings

— Defiant Trump defends virus record in 1st post-COVID rally

— As pandemic presses on, waves of grief follow its path

— Black churches mobilizing voters despite virus challenges

— ‘So frustrating’: Doctors and nurses battle virus skeptics

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 102 new cases of the coronavirus, its first daily increase over 100 in six days. The steady rise is a cause of concern as officials have lowered social distancing restrictions this week after concluding that the viral spread was slowing after a spike in mid-August.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national caseload to 24,805, including 434 deaths.

Fifty-eight of the new cases was reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where transmissions have been linked to hospitals, sports facilities, a funeral home and an army unit.

Thirty-three of the new cases have been linked to international arrivals, including passengers from Russia, Nepal, Japan and the United States.

South Korea relaxed its social distancing guidelines beginning Monday, which allowed high-risk businesses like nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and for professional sports leagues to proceed with plans to bring back fans in the stands.

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AUSTIN, Texas — An ongoing wave of COVID-19 cases in the El Paso area prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to announce Monday that a surge team of medical professionals would be dispatched to the area.

The 75 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists being dispatched will be accompanied by a supply of extra personal protective equipment to support efforts by El Paso hospitals to meet the surge of coronavirus infections. The team will be in addition to

Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio pledges $50 million for new health justice initiative

  • Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is giving $50 million to NewYork-Presbyterian to fight health inequality.
  • The grant, which is from Dalio Philanthropies, will establish the Dalio Center for Health Justice.
  • The center will focus on increasing equity across the health care system, while also seeking to address unconscious bias in clinical trials, among other things.



Ray Dalio wearing a suit and tie: Ray Dalio, billionaire and founder of Bridgewater Associates LP, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Ray Dalio, billionaire and founder of Bridgewater Associates LP, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is giving $50 million to NewYork-Presbyterian to fight health inequality at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the disproportionate access to health care in the U.S.

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The grant, which is from Dalio Philanthropies, will establish the Dalio Center for Health Justice. The center will “address health disparities and health justice through research, education, advocacy and investment in communities,” a statement said. Other initiatives include tackling unconscious bias in medicine, including when it comes to clinical trials.

“Our goal is to contribute to equal healthcare and equal education because we believe that these are the most fundamental building blocks of equal opportunity and a just society,” Dalio said in a statement.

Covid-19 has hit communities of color the hardest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black and Hispanic Americans have been hospitalized at roughly 4.7 times the rate of White Americans. The death rate is also higher for minorities, with Black individuals 2.6 times as likely to succumb to the virus as White individuals.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed enduring health inequities in a new and alarming way, and the importance of health justice has never been clearer,” said Dr. Julia Iyasere, who will head the Dalio Center for Health Justice. “We are committed to improving the health and well-being of our patients and communities through research, dialogue and education, equity in our clinical operations, investment in our communities and advocacy for national change.”

According to Forbes Bridgewater oversees around $140 billion in assets, while Dalio has a personal net worth of roughly $16.9 billion. Since its founding in 2003, Dalio Philanthropies has given away more than $5 billion.

Dalio is a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian.

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Cue Health awarded $481 million to scale up production of COVID-19 test: HHS

(Reuters) – The U.S. government has awarded diagnostic testing company Cue Health Inc $481 million to scale up the production of rapid COVID-19 molecular test, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday.

The company will raise the domestic production of COVID-19 test kits to 100,000 per day by March 2021 under the deal and deliver 6 million tests and 30,000 instruments to the government to support its response to the pandemic, the health agency said.

The point-of-care test can detect the novel coronavirus in about 20 minutes with nasal swab samples collected using a Sample Wand from the lower part of the nose, the HHS said.

The system also allows results to be sent to a mobile phone via an app.

The company’s test kit was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June for emergency use in patient care settings under the supervision of qualified medical personnel.

The development of the company’s health platform was supported by funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for a molecular influenza test, starting in 2018, the department said.

BARDA later expanded the collaboration with the company to include the development of Cue’s COVID-19 test, it added.

(Reporting By Mrinalika Roy and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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China carries out 4.2 million tests in Qingdao

BEIJING — China says it has carried out more than 4.2 million tests in the northern port city of Qingdao, with no new cases of coronavirus found among the almost 2 million sets of results received.

The city has reported a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend at a hospital.

China on Wednesday reported 27 new cases of coronavirus, including 13 new cases of local transmission and 14 cases brought from outside the country. The local cases included seven that had been shifted to confirmed from asymptomatic. It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of those involved cases reported in Qingdao.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 85,611 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— WHO: Europe reported more than 700,000 coronavirus cases last week

— Dutch order bars, restaurants closed over coronavirus concerns

— India has 55,342 coronavirus cases, lowest single-day tally since mid-August

— Safety monitoring panel will try to determine what might have caused sickness in a second COVID-19 vaccine trial paused over unexplained illness

— New poll finds coronavirus pandemic has thrust many Americans into role of caring for an older or disabled loved one for first time.

— Cristiano Ronaldo latest high-profile soccer player infected with the coronavirus, Portuguese soccer federation says.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho health care experts say coronavirus is increasing as kids are returning to school — but most of the new infections aren’t happening in school buildings.

Instead, Dr. Joshua Kern with St. Luke’s hospitals in the Magic Valley says it’s likely because many people are treating the return to school like a return to normalcy and slacking off on good habits like social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing.

A tally from Johns Hopkins University shows Idaho currently ranks sixth in the country for new cases per capita, with a total of more than 48,660 confirmed cases of coronavirus statewide. So far more than 500 Idaho residents have died of COVID-19.

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DENVER — Colorado is experiencing another surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, prompting Gov. Jared Polis to plead Tuesday with residents to wear masks, stay home as much as possible, and maintain social distancing practices.

As of Tuesday, Colorado’s three-day average positivity rate — the percentage of total tests coming in positive — was 5.4%, and the state recorded 1,000 new cases both on Saturday and on Monday, the highest daily numbers recorded during the pandemic, Polis said.

About 290 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest total since May 31, The Denver Post reported.

During a briefing on the pandemic, Polis didn’t suggest he was contemplating renewed mandatory restrictions on business or other activities to stem the surge. But he insisted: “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”

The World Health Organization recommends

Caliber, with $2.2 million in seed funding, launches a fitness coaching platform

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the fitness space for a loop. Caliber, a startup that focuses on one-to-one personal training, is today launching a brand new digital coaching platform on the heels of a $2.2 million seed round led by Trinity Ventures.

Caliber launched in 2018 with a content model, offering an email newsletter and a library of instructional fitness content.

“My co-founders started testing the idea of coaching people individually and that’s where the light bulb really went off,” said co-founder and CEO Jared Cluff. “They saw that more than anything, people need expert guidance and a really genuinely personalized plan for their fitness routine.”

That was the origin of Caliber as it is known today.

When users join the platform they are matched with a Caliber coach. The company says that it brings on about five of every 100 applications for coaches on the platform, accepting only the very best trainers.

These coaches then take into account the goals of users and build out a personalized fitness plan in conjunction with the user, which begins with a video or phone consultation. Once the plan, which is comprised of strength training, cardio and nutrition, is finalized, the coach loads it into the app.

Users then follow the instructions from their instructor via the app and log their progress. Interestingly, these aren’t live video appointments with a trainer, but rather an asynchronous ongoing conversation with a coach that is facilitated by the app.

Users can also integrate their Apple Health app with Caliber to track nutrition and cardio, giving the coach a full 360-degree view of their progress.

Alongside providing feedback and encouragement, the coach ultimately provides a layer of accountability.

This combination of real human coaching in a less synchronous, time-intensive manner has allowed for Caliber to charge at a higher price than your standard workout generator apps but come in much lower than the average cost of an actual, in-person personal trainer.

Most Caliber users will pay between $200 and $400 per month to use the platform. Coaches, which are 1099 workers on Caliber, take home 60% of the revenue generated from users.

Pre-launch, Caliber has more than tripled its membership across the last six months and increased the number of workouts per member by 150%, according to the company. Cluff says the startup is doing north of $1 million in annual recurring revenue.

Of the 41 trainers on the platform, 37% are female and about a quarter are non-white. On the HQ team, which totals seven people, one is female and two-thirds of the founding team are LGBTQ.

“The biggest challenge is not dissimilar to the challenge we faced at Blue Apron, where I was most recently, in that we wanted to create the category around meal kits,” said Cluff. “We want to build a category around fitness training in a space that is super fragmented with no branded leader.”

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